8th August 2020
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11 frontline health workers resign

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Saturday, July 11, 2020

Health workers during a physical TOT training on COVID-19 for frontline medical workers in April, 2020. Photo: South Sudan Doctor's Union.

Eleven frontline health workers at the Dr. John Garang Infectious Disease Unit have reportedly been forced to resign from the Covid-19 response team.

This was revealed yesterday during the launch of the recently established Infectious Disease Unit in Juba.

According to the International Medical Corps COVID-19 Response Technical Coordinator, the 11 health workers were forced to resign by their families for fear of bringing the virus home.

Dr. Abdou Sebushishe says they include four clinical officers, three nurses, and four hygienists who were working as part of the response team.

He added that none of the doctors had tested positive for the coronavirus during their spell on duty.

“Initially we had some staff posted here for the pandemic preparedness but once Covid-19 stroke the country, four clinical officers, three nurses and four hygienists who basically do their hygienic part of the work were unfortunately forced to quit their work by their families,” Sebushishe said on Friday.

“The families thought they would be the source of infections in their community. In total, they are eleven.”

Dr. Sebushishe added that they are working closely with the Ministry of Health to increase the level of awareness to reduce stigmatization.

“We are working to increase the level of awareness in the community and letting the community know that the health workers are not a danger but heroes who are trying to save lives of people who are infected.”

Early this week, the Ministry of Health said 103 healthcare workers have been infected since the COVID-19 outbreak. One of them died.

In May, doctors working as part of the Rapid Response Team for the Covid-19 threatened to lay down their tools due to poor working conditions.

The healthcare workers highlighted the dangers posed by the surge in the number of Covid-19 infections in the country and demanded the taskforce to provide them accommodation to keep them away from their families to curb the spread of the pandemic to their family members.

The Infectious Disease Unit is currently being managed by the Ministry of Health and International Medical Corps with support from the WHO.

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